WASHINGTON, Oct. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Approximately 5,000 Hispanic students, professionals, corporate leaders, educators and community leaders are expected to attend the largest Hispanic technical conference in the nation, the 2009 Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) Conference in Washington, D.C., taking place from Oct. 28 - Nov. 1, 2009. The registration numbers surpassed 2008 numbers, which were the largest in the organization's history.
SHPE will kick off its conference with the grand opening of its new offices in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, Oct. 27. The Washington office will allow SHPE to heighten awareness of the need for a national platform to increase the number of Latinos in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. The D.C. office is SHPE's third office, with the other two located in Los Angeles and Dallas.
Now in its 33rd year, the SHPE Conference will see the nation's top talent, brilliant minds, cutting edge corporations and governmental agencies come together to advance the STEM profession through a series of interactive seminars, workshops, hands-on skills development, two-day Career Expo, and STEM competitions. Thousands will gather from throughout the nation to recognize the top talent that embodies the spirit and essence of SHPE's mission.
In addition, programs for middle and high school students aim to inspire youth to consider opportunities in STEM fields and provide them with successful Latino models of professionals in those fields. Events will take place at the Washington Convention Center and at the Marriott Wardman, Omni Shoreham and Renaissance Washington DC hotels.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Hispanics represented 13.1 percent of the total labor force in 2005, but only 5.8 percent of engineers. The population of students in the U.S. today is not prepared to take on the mathematic and scientific challenges the future will present. U.S. students ranked 20th out of 37 countries in eighth grade math and 19th out of 37 countries in eighth grade science
During a briefing with then-President Elect Barack Obama's staff in D.C. before his inauguration, SHPE leadership shared concerns regarding the urgent need to increase the number of U.S. engineers in our country and shared information on steps SHPE is taking to increase the number of Latinos in the science, technical, engineering and math fields.
"The nation must come together to increase the number of talent in the STEM fields to ensure that our country's economy will continue to grow and prosper. SHPE is committed to being in the forefront of inspiring, training and promoting Latinos in the STEM fields," said Manny Hernandez, SHPE National President. "The opening of SHPE's Washington office is a big step in increasing awareness of the crisis facing our country in the STEM fields, and educating our nation's leaders about how SHPE is uniquely positioned to address this national crisis."
"SHPE is looking at hosting the largest conference in our history, surpassing last year's record numbers. I am proud to chair this important conference and thank the many corporations, governmental agencies, volunteers and supporters that are joining with SHPE to break history," said Monique Jackson, Chairwoman of the D.C. SHPE 2009 Conference. "Over 200 organizations will come together to hire our top Latino talent at our Career Expo, we have over 3,000 resumes on our site, and a tremendous array of workshops and training to ensure our community's success in the STEM fields."
Highlights of the SHPE Conference in D.C. include:
- Grand opening of D.C. offices
- Latina Luncheon honoring outstanding contributions of Latinas to STEM field, Secretary of Labor, Secretary Hilda L. Solis will be in attendance
- Congressional reception honoring elected officials that support SHPE's mission
- Professional development strategy series, engineering programs as well as certification tracks
- The AHETEMS Pre-College Symposia for hundreds of local D.C.-area middle school students and high school students from across the nation.
- Awards and recognition honoring professionals, educators, graduate and undergraduate students, and high school students
- Academic, professional, career and leadership workshops
- Competitions including the National Academic Olympiad Show (played in the spirit of the famed TV game show Jeopardy!), Extreme Engineering, Design Competition, and Technical Competitions
- Specialized graduate student institute and a graduate school preparation program
- Salute to Corporate America Luncheon, honoring SHPE's corporate partners
- Gala Banquet honoring SHPE's "Company of the Year" and role models winning the 2009 STAR (or SHPE Technical Achievement Recognition) Awards
- Career Fair attended by more than 200 of the nation's top companies and organizations offering full-time and internship opportunities
- Corporate tours
SHPE is the source for quality Hispanic engineers and technical talent, committed to enhancing America's position in math, science, engineering and technology with a strong and talented Hispanic workforce. For registration and other information, visit www.shpe.org.
SOURCE Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers